2020 Jury Member: Brigit Delaney

After we have announced three new jury members, Cousin Pons, May More and Exhibit A, it’s time to welcome back someone who has done jury duty before. It’s always such a delight to work with the beautiful Brigit Delaney!


Brigit DelaneyI’m excited to be back for the 2020 Smut Marathon!

First off, I want to take just a moment to introduce myself. I live in the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., and I love the outdoors (though I could do without so much gloom and rain in the winter). I have two spoiled dogs, four entitled cats, a Husband, and a teenage son. I’m a busy lady, keeping up with my family, my own writing, and a full-time career.

As an educator (writing, literature, and history), I spend a lot of time teaching basic writing to inexperienced writers and giving tons of feedback. While there are some similarities with something like this, I’m pleased to say that the level of writing makes being a jury member for this competition a pleasure rather than a chore.

What I look for as a reader is an enticing hook, characters I care about, thoughtful imagery, and just enough of the story arc to hold the whole thing together as a cohesive piece. I shy away from “scenes” and gravitate toward conflict and writing that hints at what has or will happen outside of its borders.

My judging system usually begins with a cold read, where I do nothing but take the entries in. If the piece isn’t memorable or unique in some way, it’s not likely to make it into my second reading, during which I look for the things mentioned above. My third reading is super specific, and if it comes down to it, proofreading errors can rule an entry out if points are close (so make sure to edit carefully).

Since this is a “smut” writing contest, the story should also have an element of the erotic, of course, but that can be subtle or graphic, depending on a writer’s style. I tend toward the subtle, literary pieces, however. If it’s just graphic sex for shock value, I’m out. To me, that’s the difference between erotica and porn. And while this IS called a SMUT marathon, I will always choose a literary piece over porn for porn’s sake. This is about art and craft and style, in my opinion.

I blog on the regular at brigitdelaney.com, mainly about sex and marriage, but I include a healthy dose of erotic fiction, as well. I’m an active member of the sex-blogging community, and I also host my own monthly meme called The Erotic Journal Challenge.

My spare time (which is a hilarious concept, as I have so little of it) is spent with my family watching geeky movies, drinking gin martinis (a tad dirty), and generally being as lazy as possible on the weekends, napping, camping, and enjoying time with friends. In fact, if I can manage a whole weekend without wearing real pants, I call it a success.

You can find me on twitter @brigitwrites.